Mpuma killers showed no remorse, court hears

2013-10-22 21:05

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Mbombela - Two men convicted of murdering a Nelspruit airport employee have shown no remorse, the Nelspruit Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Kenneth Mashile made the contention in evidence in aggravation of sentence of Justin Fanyana Malambe, 41, and Sibusiso Wander Phelembe, 29, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"One aggravating factor is that they have shown no signs of remorse, even after their guilt was pronounced by the court," he said.

"Malambe decided to remain silent and his side has not been heard by the court."

Phelembe was convicted of robbing, raping and murdering Nonkululeko Thandi Khoza with a hammer at her home in Dwaleni Trust, outside White River, on 21 May 2010. Malambe was convicted of robbery and murder.

Mashile said that although the court had failed to establish who struck the fatal blow, both acted in common purpose.

Khoza's daughter Ruth Khoza, 30, of Bushbuckridge, told the court her mother was a single parent and that she had been left her with four siblings to look after.

She testified that her mother had moved to Mbombela for work.

"We are now on our own and I do not work. I only receive child support grants."

She asked the court to impose sentences that would act as a deterrent to others.

"It should also heal our wounds while warning other offenders that the brutal murder and rape of women should stop," Ruth Khoza testified.

Linked to victim

Phelembe's semen was found on Khoza and her cellphone was traced to him.

He testified last week that he was having a love affair with Khoza and that they had swapped cellphones.

Mashile said Phelembe had a previous conviction for sexual assault, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Judge Daisy Molefe said the hammer used to commit the crime was found at Malambe's house.

She said the doctor who conducted the post mortem on 25 May 2010, testified that Khoza had died from head and chest injuries.

"The doctor described the murder weapon to be either a stone or hammer. The accused decided to practice his constitutional right to remain silent, despite the overwhelming evidence against him," Molefe said.

"It shows he is guilty."

Molefe questioned Phelembe's testimony that he was in a relationship with Khoza.

"... [He] did not know the date they fell in love. He never attended her funeral and never bothered to go to the family to inquire about her death."

The two will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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